Caring for a parent that is sick or injured when you live several states away is tough. The pandemic and the travel restrictions associated with it make helping that parent even more difficult. There are ways to help from a distance, however.
What is home health care?
When an older parent or family member is sick or has an injury, they typically go to the hospital. After they are stabilized, however, they may be well enough to go home, but not without supervision. Home health care can help when you live too far away to provide supervision. You can hire home health care services to provide a number of different services for your parent's care.
What types of home health services are available?
Home health care is not just the skilled nursing that most people think of. Home health care can be as simple as grocery shopping, meal prep, and light housekeeping. If your parent still needs additional therapy as part of their continued recovery, you can hire physical, occupational, and respiratory therapists to come to their home, which makes continuation of care a smooth process. You can even have a home health aide help with personal hygiene, like support during showers and help shampooing hair, which offers great peace of mind when you live several states away.
Does Medicare pay for home health care?
Medicare does pay for home health care services. They require that a doctor certify that your parent is in need of the services and cannot easily leave the home to get the services on their own. The amount of coverage currently is no more than eight hours a day and no more than 28 hours a week. They term this 'intermittent care'. This care can include skilled nursing, personal care, and various types of therapy.
How do I know what home health services my parent needs?
Talk to your parent's doctor to gain a complete understanding of your parent's condition, future healthcare needs, and recovery expectations. You can also talk to your parent's caseworker. Every hospital or long term care facility will assign a social worker or another staff member to manage the non-medical care of each patient. It is their responsibility to communicate with the insurance company, arrange transportation to other healthcare facilities, if needed, and help you set up home health care services.
While you want to be with your aging parent when they are unwell, it is not always possible. With the use of home health care service, you can ensure that your parent is well taken care of in your absence.